December 20, 2012

"Does comedy help people to deal with controversial issues?"

"Sure it helps! That’s like asking a plumber if removing clogged faeces from pipes helps people deal with a fetid stench."

12 comments:

Nonapod said...

Generally I find the quickest way to diffuse an argument is to make a self deprecating joke.

Beach Brutus said...

I remember a lot of sick jokes went around after the Challenger disaster -- sort of a coping mechanism.

Once, right out of law school, I was junior co-counsel defending a double homicide capital case. If it wasn't for the dark humor we would have gone insane.

creeley23 said...

I see comedy as an aspect of humor and I would put humor up there with love for getting through life and other controversial issues.

However, I wouldn't want to depend on the linked comedian, Neil Hamburger, for much help.

Sorun said...

"Brits would call your glasses “NHS specs” which are increasingly trendy."

And presumably his comb-over is the NHS cure for male pattern baldness.

traditionalguy said...

Word of warning: Do not make jokes about the slaughter of the innocents in Connecticut.

People with children and grandchildren are still too affected to see any humor in it or listen to yours.

EMD said...

a self deprecating joke.

I usually make a self-defecating one, and then waddle away.

edutcher said...

Read James Jones' "WWII". He has a lot to say on the necessity of humor in combat.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Mr Hamburger is, of course, completely correct concerning the salutary benefits of humour's application, you hockey puck.

ricpic said...

Neither our President nor our Secretary of State has a funny bone between them. Scary given what the powerful humorless are capable of.

EDH said...

Humor does help people deal with controversial issues.

Comedy is a profession and a business, and isn't always humorous, funny or helpful.

Nomennovum said...

"I remember a lot of sick jokes went around after the Challenger disaster -- sort of a coping mechanism.

Ah, yes. I remember this one: "No! I said Bud Lite!" (You need to recall the beer commercial from the mid-1980s to get this.)

My grad school roommate told it to me that very afternoon and I acted all offended.

What a dick I was.

creeley23 said...

Then there's the other side of comedy....

I've loved Robin Williams from the seventies on. There was always a political edge to his work, as might be expected from a San Francisco comic, but goddamn! Williams was original and brilliant.

However, the political side grew and the brilliant originality diminished. Somewhere in the 2000s he did a live performance DVD at Madison Square Gardens and about half of it was leftie PC stuff running down Bush, Republicans and conservatives.

Now, for many liberals Williams might have been just the ticket for getting through the gall of a NASCAR Texan POTUS waging a war they didn't like. I guess you could call that helping people deal with controversial issues.

But Williams didn't open anyone's mind or heart to people different from themselves as the best comedians can do when called to that occasion. I'm thinking of Jack Benny, Lenny Bruce, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor. Instead Robin Williams just cemented his audience further into the contempt they already had.